One of my favorite things to speak on at conference is The Success Mindset, especially as it pertains to any big endeavor we want to take on, like building an online business, starting a new fitness regimen, making a big move or creating the relationship you want.
So much of how we show up in the world has to do with our belief system about our capabilities. Getting results in anything–your body, your business, your relationships, your lifestyle–has everything to do with implementation, not information. Info is everywhere. It’s commodity. So we should really only ever be concerned with how we can implement the things we know because that’s where results truly happen. Implementation comes down to mindset, how you think about the process.
And so, today I present some of my most useful insights for success in any big, scary pursuit, whether it’s building a body, a business or a life that you love:
1) Own your expertise and stop waiting for validation from others.
During one of his talks, Jade said, “Don’t wait for other people to tell you are an expert. They won’t. It’s up to you to simply decide you are.”
This was really powerful for me because often we second-guess ourselves and look around for affirmation that we are doing a good job. And even if (and when) we get it from others, we really can’t own it because it didn’t come from a place of honest self-conviction. Your expertise doesn’t need to be from a book, degree or certification. It can come from your personal experience, clinical hours, results you’ve achieved for yourself and others. Stop questioning and start owning it.
2) Your personal value is whatever you say it is.
Applies to business, but also to life. When you stick up for your own personal value, others believe it too. It begins with your own self-confidence and self-efficacy (can-do-it attitude). This is similar to #1 above. The bottom line is that your worth begins with you.
You are only as valuable as you decide you are.
This is why so much of our success starts with our own self-belief and attitude. Any successful entrepreneur will admit at times having self-doubt, but the overarching perspective, the one that wins out and keeps him/her going, will always be an attitude of high self-value and willingness to work hard to maintain that value.
3) Your ‘Slight Edge’ matters.
The slight edge is your philosophy about life. It’s the thing that guides your decisions. If your philosophy is that you are scared to fail, then you will find that your decision making will remain small. If your philosophy is that you need to fail in order to succeed, you will be more likely to take chances, risk, fail, try again and ultimately achieve more. Maintaining your slight edge has to do with honing your ability to think independently and think laterally.
Some of my favorite ways to do this include reading–nonfiction books on topics I’m interested in, like biz, psychology or personal development. Also, discussion with others. Even debate with others. Read blogs you like, and blogs you don’t like. Ask why something cannot be done. Ask if it can be done. Look for possibilities. Creative thinking helps you maintain the slight edge, developing your mindset to one of success. When you believe you will be successful, chances are you will succeed. (Read more in the book, ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson, highly recommend)
4) Know (and do) what you do best.
No one can do what you do. Why? Because you are you. And there is plenty of room for everyone to make a unique dent in this world. Be apologetically authentic. Stop worrying about how you’re being received or how things look to others (I gave this up years ago, when I started going balls-out with this blog :)). The more real, transparent and open you are, the more people relate to you, and the more comfortable they will feel sharing with you. Perfection is a myth, so stop trying to be perfect. Being you, without considerations, is so much easier, and better for your business success, not to mention personal sense of fulfillment. Talk about a niche market!
5) Take 100% responsibility. For everything.
One of my favorite mantras is #RadicalResponsibility. Take ownership for everything–your thoughts, your actions and all the outcomes from those thoughts and actions. EVEN taking responsibility for other people’s actions insofar as they affect you.
You cannot control what other people do or say, but you can control how you react to them.
When you take 100% responsibility for every single situation you find yourself in–whether it was your fault or someone else’s–you learn that there is a lesson in everything. It also gives you ultimate power, because you can ALWAYS control your attitude. Life becomes a lot more kind when you practice finding the bright spots in every situation. Success follows happiness–not the other way around. So, start by feeding your own happiness and not allowing those around you to take it from you. I’ve never met a pessimist who was successful. Positivity trumps all.
6) Practice unbridled generosity.
When we operate from a place of lack, we are always worried people are going to steal our ideas or purposely try to do us wrong. More often than not, when we come from a place of lack, we indeed find ourselves lacking…not enough money, everyone’s trying to rip us off, everyone else is doing better than us; we compare ourselves, we feel inadequate, get depressed and by extension, become even more listless.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “The more you give, the more you get.” This is incredibly true as it applies to business, personal relationships and self-fulfillment.
Generosity is THE key to abundance.
Show gratitude, genuinely praise others and share whatever you have without reservation. When you give someone else praise, it doesn’t take away from your own contributions or lessen you. In fact, it empowers YOU and THEM. Love this saying, “No one ever became poor from giving.”–it’s so true. So give it all away! Never miss a chance to give praise, show appreciation or gratitude. It will all come back to you more than you could imagine.
7) Instead of running from obstacles, lean into them.
I have posted this picture before (below), and it remains relevant. The more you avoid pain, the smaller you stay. It is not our natural tendency to lean into struggle, however, it is THE way to reach endless possibilities. Most people stay on the left side of pain. We avoid confrontation, we don’t want to disappoint others, we are afraid of failure (or even afraid of success!) so we stay small:
But by leaning into struggles, we learn how to fail. And in failure, we are presented with an opportunity to learn & get better. You know I love this quote from Tal Ben-Shahar (I have used it many times on here): “Learn to fail, or fail to learn”–so powerful.
When you see obstacles as opportunities to ultimately succeed, they become a lot more friendly.
Obstacles also shrink in significance when confronted. When we practice avoidance, obstacles seem huge. But when we look them square in the face, they seems more manageable. (Read more in ‘Being Happy’ by Tal Ben-Shahar or ‘The Tools’ by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels, highly recommend both)
8) Employ “Lifestyle Design”
I took the term “lifestyle design” from Tim Ferriss (Four-Hour Work Week). This is what cultivating a lifestyle that you enjoy is all about–freeing up your time so that you can make an impact doing something you love while also being financially successful and spending time with loved ones and doing things you enjoy. Lifestyle design is all about boundaries and protocols. Ultimately, it’s a productivity system so that you can get more done in less time.
Take returning emails. Pick an hour of the day that you can dedicate to it, and do it then. Be consistent, and don’t email outside of that time. Teach people that you only respond at those designated times. Contrary to belief, people actually aren’t upset by this, so long as you lay down the rules ahead of time. If you are a trainer, have designated times that you train clients. Get a new client? Be less accommodating and have them work with YOUR schedule. They usually don’t mind, and if you are a great trainer (and you are!), they will figure out a way to make it work with your schedule. Set up protocols for how you can be reached. Set boundaries for when you do certain things, and then simply teach people that it’s the way you work.
This is not about being an unaccommodating stickler; it’s about finding a system that doesn’t put you out, and also allows for clients to have their needs met too. And you can still be a sweetheart ;)
9) It takes just as much effort to think small as it does to THINK BIG.
You have to think anyway, so why not think big? As humans, we tend to think “small” because one of the key needs of the human brain is security, or certainty. We don’t like the unknown and we like control. When we operate in our comfort zone, we know what to expect–we can expect to get the same old thing we always get. When we think BIG, we are ultimately taking a risk, but the payout is infinitely greater.
Big thinkers are dreamers in the sense that they believe anything is possible. And they are not slaves to the mundane. They allow small, petty matters to roll off them because they understand the big picture–they have perspective. They are not “busy,” they are productive (big difference). They are open-minded and optimistic. They are possibility thinkers–and think, why NOT me? And its because of that vision of possibility that they ultimately make shit happen.
10) Invest in yourself.
With actual money. I think we all understand the idea of investing time in something we want, but how comfortable are you with coughing up the green stuff? I have recounted numerous times the step I took to invest $10,000 in my business in 2011. It was frankly shocking, considering I’d always been someone who was a DIY-er, and a saver, a hoarder, operating in an scarcity mindset, rather than someone who trusted that my investment could actually–shocker!–actually work for making me more money/impact later. It wasn’t until I actually spent the time, effort and actual money on investing in my business (and my future!) that JillFit started growing exponentially. It was terrifying, it was super uncomfortable and it wasn’t easy–we didn’t have that money laying around! But man am I happy I had the lady balls to make that first investment! Since then it’s been many more tens of thousands and I couldn’t be happier about that.
I don’t tell you this to impress you, but instead because that’s how important learning from people who are doing it better than us is, if we want to get to the next level. I can’t even put a value on it. I can no longer use the excuse that “I can’t afford that.” In fact, now I can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities. And remember, you don’t have to start with an expensive program. Start with BOOKS. Tell me you can’t scrape a $15 idea out of a $14 book? Invest in your brain, invest in YOU. There’s nothing better.
This is a serious mindset shift, away from a lack mindset to one of personal development and TRUST. And it’s paid me back 100% and much, much more.
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